52 min Iwobi’s inswinging corner is punched away bravely by Alisson, a split second before he takes a whack from Tarkowski.
50 min There was a VAR check for offside, but Coady was playing Gakpo onside. I’m not sure he knew Gakpo was there; had he done so, he surely wouldn’t have left the ball, whatever the risk of an own goal.
It was another outstanding counter-attack, which started with Iwobi being tackled by a combination of Robertson and Bajcetic in the Liverpool half. Robertson played a quick one-two with Henderson and charged infield, into the space. He eventually swept the ball across the field to Salah, who played in the overlapping Alexander-Arnold in the area. Alexander-Arnold slid a low cross into the six-yard box, where Coady allowed the ball to run and Gakpo tapped it into an empty net at the far post.
GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Everton (Gakpo 49)
Cody Gakpo gets his first goal for Liverpool!
48 min Doucoure is fouled by Fabinho, just outside the area on the left. McNeil’s free-kick is badly and unusually overhit.
46 min The second half is under way, with no changes on either side.
“With all due respect to Mr. Naylor, upon seeing the replay, it doesn’t appear that Gueye was ever close enough to Nunez to foul him,” says Joe Pearson. “But in the grand scheme of things, I definitely agree with Gary’s point.”
Half time: Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Mo Salah’s goal has given Liverpool a deserved lead in the derby. They matched Everton’s aggression and energy, thus allowing their superior quality to tell. Even so, it needed a peculiar mistake from Jordan Pickford for them to take the lead, and it could easily be 1-0 to Everton: Salah’s goal came 18 seconds after James Tarkowski hit the post at the other end.
45+2 min A deep free-kick from the right is headed back across goal by Fabinho towards Nunez, 10 yards out. He cushions it on the chest, and smashes a left-foot volley that is crucially blocked by the outrushing Coady. Nunez has been electric.
45+1 min “Who needs a good attack,” says Jeff Sax, “when Pickford is in goal.”
You’ll do anything to avoid given Nunez credit.
45 min One minute of added time.
43 min Tarkowski is late on Henderson, and Simon Hooper gives him a warning. Everton need half-time here.
42 min “I hate to say this, but Gueye has to stop Nunez with a tactical foul on that break,” says Gary Naylor. “A player with his experience should be able to limit the sanction to a yellow card and, with five subs available, that’s not the risk it once was. The top teams all have a midfielder whose job it is to take a yellow on transition.”
I’m not sure he could get close enough to Nunez.
40 min That’s Jordan Pickford second weird mistake at the Kop End. I’m sure you remember the other one.
Tarkowski headed Iwobi’s left-wing corner against the post, and Liverpool broke to devastating effect! Nunez played a one-two with Salah deep in his own half, charged down the left and then curled a brilliant cross back towards Salah on the edge of the area.
Pickford ran away from his own goal, thinking the ball was going to evade Salah and reach Gakpo at the far post. Instead, Salah lifted his right foot to cushion the bouncing ball into the empty net. That’s a hideous misjudgement from Pickford.
GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Everton (Salah 36)
James Tarkowski hits the post at one end, and within seconds Mo Salah gives Liverpool the lead!
35 min This is a better spell for Everton. Nothing to tweet about, but they are at least spending more time in the Liverpool half.
32 min Shots on target so far: Liverpool 0-0 Everton.
30 min Iwobi’s corner is headed away by Fabinho, and Gueye spanks a volley over the bar from 25 yards.
30 min McNeil wins Everton’s first corner off Gomez. Iwobi comes across to take it…
28 min Onana goes down holding his face after a hand-off from Alexander-Arnold. A free-kick, nothing more.
27 min Robertson is fouled by Iwobi on the left wing. Alexander-Arnold’s inswinger is headed away as far as Bajcetic, 30 yards out, and his shot is easily saved by Pickford.
26 min “Staying with good tempo and intensity,” says Shane O’Leary, “I’ve got The Slits doing a commendable version of ‘Heard It Through The Grapevine’ in the headphones just now.”
Oh that’s a cracking cover, I shall add it to my On The Go playlist this very same night.
25 min Liverpool continue to dominate, albeit without creating many clear chances. Salah slips Mykolenko stylishly on the left but is cross is cut out at the near post by Tarkowski.
23 min “In February 1990 I was unfairly and quite monstrously ejected and barred from the Nottingham University Buttery Bar,” says Marcus Abdullahi. “This was due to an incident, the details of which are even at this distance too painful to recount. As far as I know, the ban has not (yet) been lifted and I am still persona non grata. Enjoy the match!”
When you say ‘too painful to recount’, you can’t remember anything past 4.21pm that day, can you?
21 min Nunez, Liverpool’s brightest attacker, cuts inside from the left and hits a low long-range shot that is kicked away by Coady near the six-yard line.
20 min Onana is about to shoot from 25 yards when Henderson comes on the blind side and pokes the ball back towards Alisson. Onana charges after the loose ball and slides into Alisson, which doesn’t impress the Liverpool fans or players.
17 min: Chance for Gakpo! Bajcetic tosses a deep cross towards Nunez beyond the far post. He launches into a spectacular overhead kick that turns into a decent cross for Gakpo, who heads wide on the stretch from about eight yards. Decent chance, that.
17 min “Not only is this the Merseyside derby,” says Peter Oh, “but from the managers’ perspective it is also the Deutschland v Dycheland clash.”
16 min Liverpool are playing with good tempo and intensity, even if it’s obvious they are lacking in confidence and rhythm.
14 min Robertson is penalised after a wrestle with Doucoure and tells the referee to eff off a few times. No booking, which makes you wonder what Mario Lemina said on Saturday.
13 min Coleman v Nunez already looks like an interesting contest, and Liverpool are trying to release Nunez whenever possible.
12 min “I have just poured a glass of Mind Peroxide (Brecon Brew Brewing’s wonderful 10% blond IPA), which probably tells you just how confident I’m feeling,” says Matt Dony. “It would be a good night for Gakpo to find his feet. On an unrelated note, following Mahrez’s spectacular miss yesterday, can we expect the US to shoot down another unidentified object?”
Honk! The bottle of Posh Special Brew sounds nice, I’ll check that out.
11 min … and Salah slaps it into the wall.
11 min Alexander-Arnold and Salah are over the ball…
10 min Nunez charges thrillingly infield and is fouled this far outside the area by Tarkowski. This is a chance for Liverpool.
9 min “Could the new Dyche era affect Pickford’s England chances?” wonders Brendan Large. “Southgate will tolerate a keeper who ‘launches it’, but if Pickford is ONLY ‘launching it’ would that affect his chance?”
I doubt it, not least because his long passing is something Southgate likes. Also, Everton (and England for that matter) haven’t exactly been playing Total Football in the last few years. I’d be pretty surprised if it changed anything.
7 min Salah gets the wrong side of Tarkowski, wriggles into the area and is about to shoot when Gueye comes on the blindside to make a good tackle.
5 min Matip misses his kick on the edge of the Liverpool area, which allows Simms to get goal side. He takes a touch and pings a shot that is well blocked by Gomez.
5 min It’s been a frantic, scruffy start, with nobody allowd any time on the ball.
3 min Jordan Pickford is being booed every time he touches the ball. This isn’t news, is it.
2 min “Can I pre-empt Jeff Sax,” says Richard Hirst, “and say Nunez fully deserves his 12-minute hat-trick.”
1 min Liverpool have started with Cody Gakpo up front and Darwin Nunez on the left. Everton have Dwight McNeil left and Alex Iwobi right.
1 min Peep peep! After the players take the knee, Jordan Henderson gets the match under way.
Monday Night’s Alright
Everton’s last win at Anfield in front of an actual crowd was 24 years ago, also on a Monday night. (They won during Covid as well.) For some reason, I recall watching this in the Buttery, the bar at Nottingham University. It was an entirely forgettable night, or at least it should have been, so I’d love to know why my brain decided to retain this memory over more, you know, significant experiences.
“The good news about tonight’s game,” says David Horn, “is that, as we know, form goes out the window in a derby. So we should be in for a cracker.””
“Yes, Liverpool are in their worst form in years,” says Mary Waltz. “Yes, Dyche got the boys playing with heart and discipline to beat top of the table Arsenal. But this is Anfield. Everton lose at the red palace. We have a 22-year-old Simms as striker. A win today? Sadly, I’ll believe when I see it. ‘Oh ye of little faith.’ Guilty your honour.”
“I’m wondering if the panel have a view on whether our Jurgen is going to stay on and rebuild or take on a new project?” says Shane O’Leary. “My money is on moving on as it’s gone a bit Ted Simcock fot him at Anfield. Still rooting for Der Kloppsters, though.”
‘The panel’ indeed. I’d say there’s no chance of him walking away before the end of the season. Then, to some extent, it depends what happens with the change of ownership. All things being equal I think he’ll build another team, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
“It’s quite difficult to have any degree of confidence going into the derby, especially those at Anfield, but there is a glimmer of hope for today,” says Matt Burtz. “Everton were far more organized against Arsenal than they have been in a long time (I would have to say those heady days under Ancelotti) with an actual plan of attack. Of course, plans of attack have fallen to pieces in recent trips across the park, but Liverpool are seemingly there for the taking.
“I say seemingly because I don’t trust that Liverpool are actually all that bad, and something tells me that seeing a group of blue shirts across the pitch will put some pep (pun intended) in their step. And while Calvert-Lewin’s absence is a blow, somehow I remain hopeful. Hopeful, but not confident. Though it is nice to know that Dyche has won at Anfield more recently (with a crowd, anyway) than have Everton.”
It’s worth noting that Liverpool’s home form this season is pretty decent – one defeat in 15 in all competitions, with nine wins I think. All their shambolic performances have been away from home.
Everton’s only away wins this season have been against Southampton and Fleetwood. That was then and this is now, I guess.
Jurgen Klopp speaks
We had a long training week, seven sessions, and Fabinho was really good. We know it hasn’t been his best season so far but in training he looked really, really good. Hendo is always close to the team. The Thiago situation is not cool for us; he’ll be out for a while with a hip problem.
[On Stefan Bajcetic] He’s a player in form, you can see it in all the games. As bad as they were… imagine the Wolverhamption game without him! It would have been an interesting one, to be honest. We had different options and Naby could have played, but for the game we expect tonight I think this midfield makes the most sense.
The mood has changed dramatically at Everton. I couldn’t have more respect [for Sean Dyche]. We’ve had one or two arguments on the touchline, but that’s for other reasons. I couldn’t respect more what Sean is doing – to set the team up the way he did in less than a week [was really impressive]. Everton played the game they wanted to play, not the game Arsenal wanted to play. It makes it much more difficult for us but at least we have clear information about what they will do and we can prepare for that.
[A win] would make a big difference. I’m desperate for that, to be honest. Training has been really good and now we have to bring it on the pitch. Anything could have happened after the Wolves game – arguments on the pitch, in the dressing-room, stuff like this – but that didn’t happen. We’re really close and we want to get through this situation.
I’m ready to go, the boys look ready to go. Let’s give it a try.
Uefa’s review into the alarming scenes before last season’s Champions League final has been published, and it confirms that Liverpool supporters were unfairly blamed for the potentially fatal chaos.
Sean Dyche on Ellis Simms’ selection (and other matters)
Ellis has got a physical presence and good energy. It was a tight decision – Neal [Maupay] is more experienced, we know that – but it’s a great occasion for him. Go out there and play with freedom.
There’s been a lot of noise about Liverpool but they’re still very good players. We’ve still got to perform. We want to affect the game higher up the pitch and play with quality, when we can, but it all starts with the base and I thought that was in place against Arsenal.
It was one performance, we’ve got to find consistency, but the midfield started very nicely for us. I’ve been very pleased with the players. They’ve been terrific – very reception and very open, and I think that’s important.
Jurgen Klopp makes two changes, both in midfield, from the side that was hammered at Wolves nine days ago. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho replace Thiago Alcantara (injured) and Naby Keita (not injured). Three big hitters – Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino – are back on the bench.
Sean Dyche makes one enforced change from the Everton side that beat Arsenal in his first game. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is injured, and Ellis Simms is preferred to Neal Maupay as his replacement.
Liverpool (4-3-3) Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Bajcetic; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez.
Substitutes: Kelleher, Van Dijk, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Elliott, Jota, Tsimikas, Phillips.
Everton (4-1-4-1) Pickford; Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko; Gueye; Iwobi, Doucoure, Onana, McNeil; Simms.
Substitutes: Begovic, Holgate, Keane, Gray, Mina, Maupay, Godfrey, Davies, Ruben Vinagre.
Referee Simon Hooper.
It’s the Merseyside derby! It’s also 10th versus 18th in the Premier League table, which gives a combined score of – crikey – 28 on the Big Club Crisisometer. The last time Liverpool and Everton were both in such poor health going into a derby was in the Roy Hodgson months: October 2010, when David Moyes’s Everton (17th) won 2-0 against Hodgson’s Liverpool (18th).
The last time they were so poorly placed in the second half of the season, when the dust has settled and positions are more representative, was the inaugural Premier League season. On 20 March 1993, Ronnie Rosenthal rifled a last-minute winner to give Liverpool (14th) a 1-0 victory over Everton (17th). The Premier League table was unimaginably tight, though, with only four points separating 6th and 17th. Look at this for a game of Snakes and Ladders.
The point is, Liverpool ended up finishing sixth and Everton 13th and nobody really remembers that they had a combined Crisisometer score of 31 in late March. Both clubs aspire to something similar this season. Liverpool want to replicate the surge of two years ago, when they were a banter club in the new year but had the last laugh with a late surge that took them to third. And if Everton continue as they started under Sean Dyche last weekend, they could easily end up in a comfortable position, wondering what all the fuss was about.
At the moment, both teams need every point they can get. And if they can take three of them off that lot, so much the better.
Kick off 8pm